Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has agreed to acquire Momenta Pharmaceuticals, a Massachusetts-based biotech company focused on immune-mediated diseases, in an all-cash deal worth around $6.5bn.
The acquisition of Momenta Pharmaceuticals is expected to help the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson to grow its position further in immune-mediated diseases and bring in more growth by expanding into autoantibody-driven disease.
Through the deal, Janssen gets complete global rights to nipocalimab (M281), a clinically validated anti-FcRn antibody.
Nipocalimab is said to give Janssen the scope to reach a lot more patients by pursuing indications across several autoimmune diseases that have a considerable unmet medical need. Among the autoimmune diseases that the company can pursue are rheumatology, dermatology, maternal-fetal disorders, neuro-inflammatory disorders, and autoimmune hematology.
Recently, nipocalimab was granted a rare pediatric disease designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to J&J, the expertise of Momenta Pharmaceuticals in FcRn mechanisms is particularly crucial for nipocalimab as it supports and fast tracks the development of a drug that can target various autoantibody-driven conditions across several of Janssen’s established therapeutic areas.
Apart from nipocalimab, Janssen will gain access to other clinical and pre-clinical assets of Momenta Pharmaceuticals.
Johnson & Johnson executive vice president and pharmaceuticals worldwide chairman Jennifer Taubert said: “This acquisition broadens Janssen’s leadership in autoimmune diseases and provides us with a major catalyst for sustained growth. Autoantibody-driven diseases are often serious, and patients are underserved by current treatment options.
“We’re excited by the opportunity to further advance patient care by combining Johnson & Johnson’s world-class R&D, commercial and supply chain capabilities with Momenta’s talented people, pipeline and deep expertise in this important area.”
As per the terms of the deal, Vigor Sub, a newly created fully-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson will launch a tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of Momenta Pharmaceuticals for $52.50 per share.
Momenta Pharmaceuticals president and CEO said: “The agreement with J&J recognizes the value created by years of commitment and dedication to our mission by the many current and past Momenta employees. Programs such as nipocalimab have the potential to improve the lives of countless patients suffering from autoimmune and fetal maternal diseases.”
The deal is likely to be wrapped up in the second half of this year, subject to the meeting of all conditions pertaining to the completion of the tender offer and merger.